Colin Kaepernick's NFL Workout

Let’s be clear. This is a sham.

Jim Rome
November 13, 2019 - 10:33 am
Colin Kaepernick

USA Today


Nathan Peterman. CJ Beathard. Matt Cassel. Chad Henne. Bryce Petty. Tom Savage. Someone named David Fales. A thing called Cooper Rush. That collection of names that sounds like it was randomly spit out by a computer is actually a list of quarterbacks who have gotten a look in the past few years.

You know who hasn’t? Actually, that wasn’t a question. It’s a statement.

You know who hasn’t – Colin Kaepernick. You know this. I know this. And we know why it is.

But now he is getting a look. Sort of. Not really.

The league announced yesterday that Colin Kaepernick would have a workout on Saturday in Atlanta.

And everything about this is weird.

Because according to numerous reports over the years, Kaepernick has been working out five days a week for the last three years and his reps have reached out to multiple teams over the years whenever there has been a quarterback injury or opening, to see about getting a workout.

And then it gets weirder.

Because according to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports: “a representative from the league called a select group of reporters last week and suggested they should be available on the following Tuesday for a worthwhile news development. The NFL wouldn’t say what it would be. Just that the reporters should be ready to share some breaking news.”

Well, that breaking news was the news of the Kaepernick workout. Except while the reporters knew that news would be breaking last week, Kaepernick’s representatives didn’t hear about the workout until yesterday morning.

And, according to Robinson, they were given two hours to accept it.

The league wants you to think - what an incredible moment in league history. This is the first time the league has ever organized a workout for a single player. They want that headline and that talking point.

And if you buy that, you’re a sucker.

Because yes, it is the first time the league has ever organized a workout for a single player, but if you think this is about a workout to get him a legitimate look, you’re fooling yourself. You’re allowing yourself to get played.

If the league was serious about getting Kaepernick a look, why let him know on Tuesday about a workout on Saturday?

And why only give him two hours to decide?

And why is this workout being schedule in mid-November, instead of over the summer? Or in preseason?

Or earlier in the year when starting quarterbacks were going down left and right?

Why is the workout on a Saturday, when half of the head coaches in the NFL will be on the road for games and when many scouts and front office personnel are scheduled to be at college football games?

Why not schedule this workout on a Tuesday, which is when real NFL workouts are usually held?

Because this isn’t about giving Kaepernick an opportunity, this about the NFL going CYA.

This isn’t a real workout. The league isn’t trying to get Kaepernick an opportunity because they feel bad or they’re admitting they screwed up. Or because they actually want to see him back in the league.

This is about the NFL being shamed into the fact that guys like Peterman and Fales have been given looks and a guy who led a team to a Super Bowl can’t even get a sniff.

They want to be able to check a box. They want to be able to say, look, we did something we’ve never done before – we scheduled a workout for a single player.  How can anyone say we black balled this player, when we’re doing something for him that we’ve never done for anyone else?  Setting up his own, personal, private workout in front of any and potentially every team. 

Except it’s not a real workout. They’re just doing it so that they can say they did it. That’s all.

If this was legit, they’d give Kaepernick and teams more notice. They wouldn’t be telling reporters about breaking news before telling the parties involved about it, or before they even knew he’d say yes.

But of course they knew they had breaking news, because either way, they were going to break news. The news was going to be that they had a workout for him and he said yes, or they had a workout for him and he said no.

They knew they’d have news because they’re doing it in a way that Kaepernick has to say yes.

If he didn’t say yes to a weird workout under strange circumstances with little notice, they’d say he didn’t want to play. They’d say they offered it and he turned it down.

You could even see that in the initial reports yesterday about the workout – people making sure you heard that his reps wanted to see about a later date.

You could already see people saying, wait, if this guy really wants to be in the league and he’s been working out so much, why does he want a later date? That was done to raise questions about how much he wanted in.

When in reality, the question of a later date was a very legitimate one, so that the decision-makers for teams could be available for it.

The only winner here is the league. If he works out and someone signs him, the league looks like a hero for making it happen. 

If he doesn't workout because he thinks it's a sham, the league can blame him for not trying. 

If he does workout and nobody signs him, well, that’s just proof that he’s not very good. Which is a load of crap.

And if you still want to cling to any sort of desperate argument that this is about anything other than the obvious, you’re begging.

Let’s be clear. This is a sham. Real NFL workouts are usually held on Tuesdays. They aren’t held on a Saturday on short notice when the participant has two hours to respond.  With a take it or leave offer. 

Giving someone two hours to agree isn’t a workout offer, it’s a threat.

Here’s the final thing on all of this – I’m not saying you have to like Colin Kaepernick as a quarterback or as a person. You don’t have to. That’s up to you.

But do not embarrass yourself and those around you by trying to make up arguments about why he’s not in the league. Don’t demean yourself by saying that his team had a losing record in his final season or that he’s not a good system quarterback or that he doesn’t want to play or that he’d be too big a distraction. Don’t bother with all of that junk. Because none of it is true. You know it and I know it.

Worse players, terrible people, and bigger distractions have all been given chances and in many cases, multiple chances and Kaepernick hasn’t.

Again, you don’t have to like him, you don’t have to like what he’s about, but don’t embarrass yourself by pretending about why he isn’t in the league. And from the sounds of it, this workout doesn’t change any of that